Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

June 5, 2013

Homicide victim’s ID confirmed

TAHLEQUAH — Authorities on Tuesday officially confirmed the identity of a local professor found dead in her Tahlequah home last week.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said the victim, Dr. Tiffany Rene Maher, was found in her home on Kupsick by a Northeastern State University officer.

University President Dr. Steve Turner said the NSU Department of Public Safety responded to a call from the chemistry department Friday when Maher, an assistant professor of chemistry, had not arrived at an academic conference where she was scheduled to speak.

“Our officers responded to her home and the Tahlequah Police Department was subsequently contacted,” said Turner.

Details released about the homicide remain vague. The cause and manner of Maher’s death has not been officially determined.

New information also surfaced Tuesday with the release of a basic incident report filed by a Tahlequah police officer.

The report indicates officers smelled smoke inside Maher’s home when they arrived and discovered her death. Four cats were also found dead in the home.

One source has said the animals may have died as a result of a fire and the subsequent lack of oxygen in the home. The report filed Tuesday indicates arson is involved in the case.

Tahlequah Chief of Police Nate King said a certified fire investigation specialist with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is helping TPD and the OSBI investigate the fire in the home.

Police have not said whether any suspects have been pinpointed, but authorities in Tulsa discovered Maher’s missing car at an apartment complex near 81st Street and Highway 169 Monday evening. The man who reported the car to authorities said it had been parked there for about a week, according to media reports out of Tulsa.

“The Tulsa Police Department secured the vehicle until [Tahlequah] detectives arrived on scene,” King said. “The OSBI has been tasked with processing the vehicle for evidence. Detectives of the Tahlequah Police Department continue to follow up on leads in the case.”

The OSBI said analysts will try to lift fingerprints from Maher’s car in hopes of garnering new leads.

“[We] are grateful for the assistance provided by so many fellow law enforcement agencies and concerned citizens,” King said. “Anyone with information in regard to the murder of Tiffany Maher should contact the Tahlequah Police Department or the OSBI.”

A press release issued Tuesday by NSU described the campus community as “devastated and heartbroken” by the situation.

Maher “epitomized excellence in teaching and was respected and admired by her students and her colleagues on the Broken Arrow and Tahlequah campuses,” Turner said.

Maher joined NSU’s faculty in 2009. She was recently recognized by the NSU faculty with the university’s highest recognition, the Circle of Excellence Award for Teaching.

Dr. Martin Venneman, dean of the NSU College of Science and Health Professions, said the department was “stunned” to hear of Maher’s death.

“Not only has the college lost a Circle of Excellence in Teaching award-winner from its chemistry faculty, but it has lost a leader in the development of supplemental instruction across the lower division curricula as a way to enhance achievement of first-generation college students in rigorous general-education science and mathematics courses,” Venneman said. “Dr. Maher was known as a friend, an advocate, and a mentor by her students; revered by her peers as an exceptional educator; and respected throughout the College for her professional achievements.”

Friends and colleagues have said Maher was involved in the community and volunteered her time at student events while supporting local nonprofit groups for women. Maher’s neighbors have said she worked diligently to find new homes for stray cats.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dr. Maher’s mother and father and her extended family,” said Turner. “While respecting the family’s privacy, NSU will continue to provide support to them, Dr. Maher’s students, and her colleagues as we face the unimaginable tragedy of losing such a gifted instructor and researcher at the age of 38.”

Plans are under way for a memorial service to be held late next week at the Tahlequah campus. University officials also indicated the Maher family will establish a scholarship program through the NSU Foundation.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • ts-marching-MAIN.jpg Marching in step

    Tahlequah High School Orange Express Marching Band kicks off 2014 season with summer drills.

    The Tahlequah High School Orange Express Marching Band has added 30-35 freshmen to its roster this year, and drills began for the newest members last Thursday.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • studie-roberta.jpg Woman accused of stealing cash, taking it to casino

    A 35-year-old Tahlequah woman is free on bond after she allegedly took $1,200 from a man who had been jailed for old warrants.
    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies said they spoke with Jason Jones last week after Jones was arrested by park rangers for the outstanding warrants. Jones said he came to Oklahoma to see family, and when he was arrested, he left his wallet and cash with one of his daughters.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • svw-Hepatitis.jpg Hepatitis vaccinations important today

    The phrase “back to school” may be disdained by kids for many reasons, including a trip to the doctor’s office to update immunizations.
    But hepatitis cases in Oklahoma provide a good example of why these vaccinations are important.
    “There was a time when Hepatitis A was just crazy in Oklahoma. The state was actually known for it,” said Becky Coffman, an epidemiologist with the Oklahoma Health Department’s Acute Disease Service.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • hood-raymond.jpg One man caught, another sought after foot chase

    Two people tried to escape sheriff’s deputies, and one was successful, after a traffic stop on U.S. Highway 62 last weekend.
    Deputy Bryan Qualls was on the highway when he noticed a red Chevrolet Avalanche matching the description of a truck that had been spotted at the scene of a recent burglary.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Detectives investigate deaths of two elderly residents

    Incident may be murder-suicide

    Tahlequah police detectives believe the deaths of two elderly Cherokee County residents are part of a murder-suicide that took place July 24-25.

    July 29, 2014

  • ts-Tax-free-main.jpg Shopper's delight

    Tax-free weekend coming up Aug. 1-3, just in time for back-to-school savings

    Attention, shoppers: Oklahoma’s Tax-Free Weekend is coming up, beginning at 12:01 a.m., Friday, Aug. 1.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • ballard-amanda.jpg Woman pleads no contest to molestation

    A Tahlequah woman accused of having more than 20 sexual encounters with a 13-year-old boy has pleaded no contest in exchange for a 15-year prison sentence, though 10 years have been suspended.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • svw-arch-society.jpg Archaeologist: Spiro Mounds may have been ancient music haven

    People gathered from across the country at the “center of the universe,” bringing with them different styles of music and instruments, each thought to have its own power and importance.
    This could be the description of a modern music festival, but to Jim Rees, it is a picture of the Spiro Mounds 1,000 years before Columbus came to the Americas.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Two headed for trial for conspiracy to kill judge and others

    Two of the four people accused of conspiring to kill a Cherokee County judge and several other targets were bound over for trial Friday following a preliminary hearing in Tahlequah.

    July 28, 2014

  • Woman accused in embezzlement sought for arrest

    Court officials have issued a bench warrant for a woman who previously pleaded to embezzling more than $40,000 while she worked for Tahlequah attorney Park Medearis.

    July 28, 2014

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Stocks